IMPD pleads for help solving murder of 8-year-old boy killed inside his home by stray bullet

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A homicide detective with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) is pleading for information to help solve the murder of an 8-year-old boy.

Rodgerick Payne Jr. was inside his own home when he was hit by a stray bullet nearly one month ago.

“He was your average 8-year-old kid. He liked to read. He like to ride his bike. He liked to color,” said IMPD homicide detective Chris Edwards.

On March 31 around 11 p.m., officers were called to the 3000 block of North Tacoma Avenue, near East 30th Street and North Keystone Avenue, and found the victim shot in the neck.

“This is a child. He wasn’t out doing anything. He was eating dinner in his home and did nothing to bring this on himself,” said Edwards.

Edwards believes numerous shots were fired in the neighborhood the night of the killing, but it’s not clear what led up to the violence.

“I’ve been in homicide 3 years and this is the first case I’ve had with so little information,” said Edwards.

So far the intended target of the shooting remains a mystery, but it wasn’t Rodgerick, and police would like to speak to that person.

“We don’t care why they were being shot at, but they know who was shooting at them and why it happened,” said Edwards.

Detective Edwards insists the only way he can hold Rodgerick’s killer accountable is with the public’s help.

“The reason it bothers me so much is it’s the youngest victim I’ve had so far and the least information I’ve had so far. As an investigator that’s extremely frustrating,” said Edwards.

The boy’s family told us they are still too upset to go on camera, but encouraged anyone with information on the case to contact Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS (8477).

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